Using URL Rebuilding

The goal of URL Rebuilding is only to track URLs as pages if they are truly unique pages.

For example, many websites add a unique user session ID or a time stamp to a page URL each time a visitor accesses it. Although these query parameters may be important for internal processing on your website, they can make every URL appear to be a unique page, increasing your page count. Also, if you pass Webtrends query parameters in your URLs, you may want to ensure that they are not counted as part of the page URL.

URL Rebuilding affects the Pages reports and reports that are based on the Pages report. Effective URL Rebuilding definitions enable Webtrends to generate the Pages report and reports that are based on the Pages report using only the necessary hardware resources. By tracking only the relevant query parameters, you can minimize the disk space and memory required to generate these resource-intensive reports.

Note: Webtrends Analytics 9 has several features that affect reporting on dynamic page URLs. If you want to create reports that track which parameters are being used to request dynamically generated page content, you should use URL Parameter Analysis. If you have problems reporting on non-standard URLs and you want to modify any string in the URL, not only query strings, by searching and replacing strings of data, you should use URL Search and Replace.

Understanding URL Rebuilding

When planning to use URL Rebuilding, consider which parameters are meaningful in reporting page views and which parameters are less meaningful or likely to result in a falsely unique URL. The following sample URL includes a session ID and several Webtrends query parameters, but it also includes parameters that provide valuable information about page content:

default.asp?type=domestic&div=news&article=104&WT.cg=local&WT.ti="Local%News"&sessionid=155428642

In this example, you would probably want to include the parameters that show which division and type of articles users requested. However, you would probably want to exclude the Webtrends query parameters (beginning with WT) and the session ID, because these parameters make each URL seem unique even when it requests the same content as other URLs. These extra parameters also make the URL longer and harder to understand when viewing page reports. If you created a URL Rebuilding definition that included only the div and type parameters, the Pages report would show the long URL in the previous example as follows:

default.asp?div=news&type=domestic
Note: Webtrends sorts the parameters alphabetically. This ensures that if two URLs differ only because of the order of parameters, they are still counted as the same page.

Understanding URL Rebuilding and SmartView

If your website content is dynamically generated, you must specify which URL parameters identify pages on your site for SmartView to work. You specify these parameters by creating a URL rebuilding definition.